“Epic: Feats of Argentine Design” is a multi-format, curatorial program aimed at reviewing a century of history based on the IDA Foundation collection and other related archives.
#EpicAnniversary | AMIA Attack + HIV in Argentina
On July 18, 1994 at 9.53 am, a car bomb exploded a few meters away from the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), on 633 Pasteur Street in Once neihborhood, Buenos Aires City. The attack against the jewish community resulted in 85 casualties and over 300 people injured. It became the worst terrorist attack in the country. In just a few seconds, the AMIA and other surrounding buildings turned into a mountain of rubble. For the following 10 days, rescue teams searched for survivors in the bleak site. Two years before, a bomb van crashed into the entrance of the Embassy of Israel in Argentina, resulting in 29 casualties and 242 injured people. The AMIA building was rebuilt under the direction of Luis Erijimovich and declared open in 1999 featuring the motto: “for justice and for life”. The project resulted in a small building with fire and blast resistant qualities. The Agam Monument, a nine-columns sculpture conceived by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam, was placed in the adjacent square. The first oral trial regarding the terrorist attack took place on 2001 and, today, almost three decades after the event, the case remains unresolved.
Journalist and actor Roberto Jáuregui, the first person diagnosed with HIV in the country who came out publicly and pushed for open discussion of the disease in mass media, died on January 13, 1994. His brother Carlos Jáuregui, who also died of HIV related causes two years later, also fought for civil rights and became the first president of the Argentine Homosexual Community (CHA; between 1984 and 1987). Roberto collaborated closely with Fundación Huésped, an organization created in 1989 —7 years after the first AIDS case diagnosed in Argentina— by sponsoring public health research, solutions, and communications. In July 1992, Huésped Foundation and the Argentine Advertising Council, guided by Pedro Cahn, MD, launched the first AIDS awareness campaign in the country. Between 2003 and 2006, the foundation produced the Gaby Herbstein’s Calendars, in which renowned celebrities connected to culture, journalism, and sports, like Fernando Peña, Charly García, Julio Bocca, and La Mona Jimenez showed their bodies to raise awareness about the issue. The recently published book: Imágenes seropositivas. Prácticas artísticas y narrativas sobre el VIH en los 80 y 90 (EDULP, 2021), compiled by Francisco Lemus and illustrated with photographs by Alejandro Kuropatwa, recovers essays, interviews, and historical texts which encourage the reader to reflect about the biopolitical effects of AIDS in the fields of culture and arts.
#EpicContext | Porteño Hub
The urban transformation in Buenos Aires has become tangible in several areas of the city due to multiple public-private projects. Buenos Aires City intendant Carlos Grosso (1989-1992) fostered the renovation of the old port with the support of the Old Puerto Madero Corporation (CAPMSA, 1989), a company that successfully commercialized 170 hectares in the area during two distinct stages (1991; 1996). The operation aimed at attracting foreign investment using a global city narrative and following the Barcelona model. In 1991, the local government, partnered with the Central Architect Society, launched the contest, Concurso Nacional de Ideas para Puerto Madero. Three teams of architects won and began developing their projects in 1992.
The winners recycled silos and docks where merchandise was stored to create a row of buildings between the levees that preserved the port’s identity while hosting new stores and restaurants. Many towers were also built, as well as parks and walkways. Simultaneously, CAPMSA organized cultural and artistic events meant to allure potential investors and open the formerly abandoned area of the city to local residents. Some of the aforementioned events were the Bienal de Arte Joven (1991), the Expo América ’92, and Casa FOA (1993). In the late 90 's and early 2000’s, Puerto Madero boomed and the price per m2 increased five fold. The firm Estudio MRA+A, led by Mario Roberto Álvarez, developed such projects as the Hilton Hotel in Buenos Aires, the Galicia Tower, Madero Office (ICBC), and the Docks by the river. The famous 160-meter-tall YPF Building (known as Repsol back then) was designed by César Pelli. The Faena Hotel & Universe (2005) featured elements designed by Philippe Stark. The Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection building (2008), conceived by Rafael Viñoly, was erected on dock 4. In 2001, the famous Puente de la Mujer, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, was established on dock 3. The public walkway-Banquina at Puerto Madero, which has been acknowledged with several awards, was created by Jorge Hampton, Emilio Rivoira, Miguel Pérez, and Diana Cabeza. They recycled original objects and materials, such as cobblestones, railway ties, and cranes, to develop the project.
The studio SEPRA, which was founded in 1936 by Santiago Sánchez Elía, Federico Peralta Ramos, and Alfredo Agostini and, later, managed by three successors —Santiago Sánchez Elía, Diego Peralta Ramos, and Emilio Beccar Varela—, also played a significant role in the city’s transformation. The group of creators conceived the first building constructed in the Catalinas Norte district: the Sheraton Hotel (1972). In Puerto Madero, they recycled docks from levee 4 to develop Puerto Viamonte (1994), which became a model for the entire sector. They also planned the Catalina Complex (Catalinas Tower, Alem Tower, 1993-1995), Fortabat Tower (1995), and Bouchard Tower (1994), buildings that defined the capital’s new downtown landscape.
Throughout the lower part of the city, the nightlife was shaken by cosmopolitan places like Filo and Dadá, which became gathering sites of artists, politicians, and executives. Mario Salcedo did the interior design for both establishments. Located next to Florida Garden, Dadá bar (1998) defined itself as the “last bar of the century”. The restaurant/gallery Filo (1994 - 2021) was one of the first places that featured a live DJ, gastronomy, and art.
Buenos Aires Design (1993) was another landmark. It was located in Recoleta, beneath Recoleta Cultural Center and Torcuato de Alvear Square. Backed by private investment, it was conceived as a gastronomic and commercial center, the first one specialized in furniture, design products, and home decoration objects. The project, designed by Clorindo Testa, Giselle Graci, and Juan Genoud, aimed to transform the space, while keeping the existing framework, which articulated architecture styles from three different periods. Showcasing a unique yellow color —produced by Salcedo—, the site stood out for the porches and the original shapes and colors integrated successfully to its new context. Some of the first establishments that joined the project were: Café Rix (1993), where Salcedo also collaborated; the Hard Rock Café franchise (1995); and Morph (1996), a store that sold home decoration design objects. After the 2001 crisis, PuroDiseño Argentino, a store created by Dolores Navarro Ocampo with the goal of supporting Argentine design, emerged from Buenos Aires Design.
#EpicContext | Artistic Marketing: art, design, and advertising
The 1990’s were the golden age of advertising, booming due to “one on one” trends, international corporate investment, and the marketing system. Brands were keen on presenting products through big TV and graphic media productions, which were frantically developed by agencies like Agulla & Baccetti (Ramiro Agulla and Carlos Baccetti), Young & Rubicam (Hernán Ponce was then the firm’s creative director, later he opened his own agency), and Ogilvy Argentina (Jorge Heymann was its creative director). Due to the success of these campaigns within a globalized context, many of the products entered international competitions and, some, were even exported as patterns.
In just a few years, Agulla and Baccetti (1995 - 2009) marked a turning point in the field of creative advertising with the campaigns they conceived for such companies as Telecom, Quilmes, and Renault Argentina. During the brief spots, scripted with humor and irony, they produced unforgettable ads that established an emotional connection with the people, such as the still remembered series “La llama que llama” (1999). The ads were diverse, some were crafty, low budget projects and some were super productions. The firm even hired German film director Wim Wenders to create the ads for the Mégane campaign (1997). They also conceived a funny campaign for Levi´s, in fact, the spot “Emma, la polilla fashion” (2000) was the first jeans commercial broadcasted in the country. commercial.
The field of graphic design was greatly transformed due to imported materials and new printing techniques, which included elements like die-cutting, lenticular, laminated, special papers, and small objects. Simultaneously, new magazines emerged targeting young audiences. They played a role equiparable to today 's social networks. Artistic photographic productions, used to illustrate cover pages and main articles, experienced a boom. D-MODE (1992) was initially a free magazine distributed in bars, VIP lounges at night clubs, and record stores. It was one of the first publications that included content about electronic music (song charts and news about the best Dj’S), design, and fashion.
Cult magazines, such as Inrockuptibles (1996) and Rolling Stone (1998), began circulating in Argentina in the mid 90’s. The French publication Inrockuptibles, specialized in movies and books, had an intellectual readership. Rolling Stone magazine dealt with popular music and culture. Charly García appeared in the first issue, thus setting high quality standards which paralleled its mythical American counterpart. In contrast to large-format, promotional publications, Wipe (1997) was created as a free, small-format magazine about porteño cultural events. Conceived by Sergio De Loof, Paulo Russo, and Alfredo Visciglio, it was distributed in underground, porteño night clubs. It was meant to be an art object: each page had a unique layout and treatment. Every issue was developed with spontaneity, which enabled its constant mutation as years went by. Each stage was led by a specific theme or artist, for example, Marta Minujín or Guillermo Kuitca.
This prolific media scene was enriched by Vía Postal, Look and take, and Free Boomerang, promotional postcard platforms which displayed advertising campaigns conceived by such agencies as Leo Burnett Argentina or McCann Erickson. Diverse enterprises, fashion companies and cultural institutions, for example, used that channel to implement person-to-person marketing. The postcards were distributed in museums, theaters, bars, and record stores. People took them and collected them..
#EpicContext | Technology as a mode of resistance
Despite experiencing an economic system in which it is cheaper to import than to develop or invest in local technology, some Argentine design studios were able to create competitive, high-quality products during the 90’s.
The office KLA - Consultores en Diseño emerged in 1991 from a partnership among Hugo Kogan, Hugo Legaria and Raúl Anido and it lasted until 2003. The studio developed projects merging different areas of industrial and graphic design, including environment design, design for commercial establishments, equipment for bank networks, signage systems, identity and corporate design and implementation, packaging, and editorial design. They took a chance on supporting national production and improving interdisciplinary work as a way of collaborating with important agencies throughout the Americas and Europe. In 1999, the office teamed up with the firm RWS / KLA Design Consultants, based in Curitiba, Brazil.. In the area of technology, they collaboratively designed and developed complex products for the health and IT industries. They produced electromedical equipment, such as the NICU crib (1992); urban equipment like the Temi2KLA electronic parking meter (1997), made with concrete, steel, aluminum, and thermoforming polycarbonate; and interactive terminals (1997) made of steel, aluminum, ABS, and wood. They also created heaters for the company Eskabe (M3 y S21), which, alongside their parking meter, belong to the Permanent Design Collection at the Mamba. During the 2000’s, driven by the internet boom, they developed cabinets to hold servers, and the products E-Netbox and Netbox, in association with the company XTech. The studio developed projects for such clients as Medix, Telecom Group, Drean, and Procter & Gamble, among others. They received the First Prize at the Hall of Design, organized by Buenos Aires Design (1995) and the First Techno-entrepreneur Prize (1997), awarded by the Argentine Credit Bank and the French Bank.
In 1988, the young industrial designers who graduated from UNLP —trained by such professors as Ricardo Blanco, Julio Colmenero, and Roberto Doberti— Adrían Bromiguer, Jorge Chernoff and Fabián Daiez, organized Punta Diseño Industrial (PDI). In 1990, Bromiguer left the studio, which, since then, has been directed by Chernoff and Daiez. PDI specialized in designing and developing medium and high complexity items for several sectors of production. In time, it focused on digital manufacturing technologies, 3D models, and prototypes, including products for mass consumption, electronic, and health-related items, specially electromedical equipment, like the cardiac monitor Bio 80 (1991), the Cardio print 100 ITM electrocardiograph (1995), and the cardiac Holter GBI Galix (1997). Some of these products have international licenses, such as the European Union Seal (EC) granted by the Food and Drug Administration. The group also designed bank and security equipment, ATMs, and self-inquiry terminals, like the Red Bus system for bus transportation (1992-1993); electric and electronic material —Electric adapter EXULT (1990) and the Scialítica SISTO lamp (1992)—, and automotive —lateral tires designs for Fate—. The most outstanding product was Matete (its first prototype was developed in 1994 in collaboration with Munar Foundation and commercialized by PDI since 1994), the first plastic injection-made mate with its own 4-leg support. The piece toured around the world, being showcased in exhibitions like ARG. DIS, ARGENTINA DISEÑA (Japan, 2007) and it became a fashion item in the Palermo circuits. Many of these products belong to the Mamba Design collection. The studio continues creating products, including home appliances and current technology by, for example, applying the internet of things to develop objects like a vet vaccination gun with GPS and cloud connection.
During the same time period, the category of Industrial Design was incorporated to the 1st Young Art Biennial (1989); the Munar Foundation was created (1991), thus giving a significant boost to the field; the I.D. category was added to the Konex Awards (1992); and other relevant industrial design competitions, like the Atma and Coca Cola, took place nationwide.
#EpicFeatured | Alejandro Ros
Alejandro Ros (Tucuman, 1964) is one of the first-class graduates of the FADU (UBA). He specialized in creating design for artists, movie makers, leisure industries, and the field of publishing. His work includes identity systems, posters, records, publications, videoclips, exhibitions, facilities, performances, and, even, thematic parties. He produced pieces for renowned musicians and contemporary, national artists, which were showcased in MTV, emblematic night clubs like Morocco, and institutions such as the Goethe-Institut, Malba, and Centro Cultural Kirchner. He uses a compelling, yet poetic, visual communication to create pieces known for their creativity and conceptualization, achieved through the few resources he finds through “entering the universe inhabited by the other”: appealing photographic images, synthetic messages, and scarce colors. He conceived the covers of iconic pop and rock albums: Soda Stereo, Gustavo Cerati, Fito Paez, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Mercedes Sosa, Divididos, Vicentico, Miranda! Juana Molina, Babasónicos, and Damas Gratis, among many others.
In the publishing fields, he has designed thousands of cover pages for such supplements as Radar, Soy, and Las/12 (the supplement of the journal Página 12) since the year 2000. His covers stand out for their strong visual metaphors developed in a short working time. His compositions had a shocking effect, since they presented topics related to sexualities, human rights, and several social issues that erupted during the transition from the XXth to the XXIst century. Besides those projects, he designed the setting and graphic elements of the exhibition Klang! (2018), which revolved around experimental music in Argentina. The showcase was presented at the CCK.
He received multiple national recognitions throughout his career, for example, the ADG award (1985, 1990, 1995), the CAYC Seal of Good Design Award (1992), the Platinum Konex Award in the Graphic Design category (2002), and seven Gardel Awards for his cover art. Internationally, his creations have made him recipient of three Latin Grammy Awards and the Excellence Award of the Society for News Designs (United States), as an acknowledgement of his work for Radar and Las/12. Besides, his creations have been included in North American, European, and Asian magazines, as well as in compilations published by Taschen and Page One. The book Tapa (2007) presents Ros’ work through documents related to his album covers, his editorial graphic work, and multiple images that show his participation in the porteño underground scene. His patrimonial collection has been part of IDA archive since 2015.
#EpicFeatured | trosmanchurba
Designers Jessica Trosman and Martín Churba created, between 1997 and 2002, the clothing brand trosmanchurba —originally named FOFO—. Their “Haute and low couture” collections revealed bold experimentation choices in terms of textile design, as well as a reconception of local fashion codes meant to dress new body shapes and diverse orientations. They worked together as a productive lab, which resulted in the co-creation of garments that bordered between design and artwork due to their seemingly spontaneous, script-less, and gestural code. They materialized their experimental creations using tactile and visual surfaces and techniques like thermo-fusion printing in plastic items, recycling industrial elements, sublimating images, and mixing genres.
Their innovative proposals, ignited a revolution in the 90’s local design scene. They organized mega-fashion shows, produced multiple outdoor advertising campaigns, and designed clothes for public figures from eclectic fields of action (including not only local personalities but also international celebrities like Björk). They established three stores in: Old Palermo, the Bullrich Patio, and Belgrano. In the areas of Armenia and Soler, they became successful prospectors, taking over a territory in Palermo and separating it from shopping center spaces. There, they designed their first exhibitions and window displays in collaboration with other artists. In 2001, they produced a fashion show inspired in the work of informalist artist Kenneth Kemble for the program “Art is in fashion”, presented at the Mamba. To achieve it, they talked to his daughter, Julieta Kemble, and used her insights to reformulate wardrobe pieces made of lumpy rags. After such an experience they stated: “We have to get involved in museum contexts as a way to validate textile research beyond ephemeral fashion” (Churba, Página 12).
Their frantic career led them to export designs to the United States which were featured in the window displays of Barney´s in Nueva York. Their pieces were marketed in cities all over Europe, Asia, and Australia. Between 1999 and 2001, they won the Silver Scissors Award as the best design revelation in Argentina (1999), participated in events like the Haute Couture Week in Rome, the New York Fashion Week —during two consecutive seasons—, the Buenos Aires Fashion Week, and San Pablo Fashion Week. In 2002, the couple parted ways to develop personal projects. Churba created the brand Tramando and Trosman did the same, first with an homonymous brand and, later, with JT. They reunited in the midst of the pandemic to work together once more, thus presenting Jaramillo, a capsule made with discarded working clothes found in a storage room that had been abandoned since the 80’s. They rescued and repurposed the items. In contrast to trosmanchurba, their new collaborative stage aims to design textile art for indoor and outdoor architecture.
#Epic #ExpertOpinion | Peloche + Rybak
Willie Peloche is an artist and a visual communication designer who graduated from the UNLP. Being a specialist in digital art, he has participated in multiple exhibitions in Argentina, Brazil, and the US. He has received acknowledgements in his specialty field, such as the ICI-Telefónica Digital Art Award (2000) and his work is part of the permanent Photography collection at the MAMBA. His facet as a VJ turned him into one of the local pioneers in the field. As a cultural manager, he has organized electronic visual arts programs like Ciudad Emergente and the PANORAMICA festival, which was showcased at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica and was promoted alongside Martin Borini. He created EscenaLab Rojas (2016), a space within the CCRR Rojas at the UBA aimed at teaching, producing, and showcasing art and technology. We will talk with Peloche about the local VJ scene and the connections between design and alternative arena that thrived in the late 90’s.
Sergio Rybak holds a PhD in Design and a degree in Architecture from the UBA, School of Design, Architecture, and Urbanism. He is a specialist in the history of industrial design in Argentina. He is a faculty member of the Architecture, Graphic and Industrial Design programs at the FADU; and also a professor of the Industrial Design technical degree program at ORT. He was the Adjunct Coordinator of the Industrial Design program (2006 - 2010, FADU, UBA) and Director of the graduate program «Graphic and Industrial Design in XXth century Argentina» in the same university school. He has participated and organized conferences and academic symposiums in the field of History of Design in Argentina and abroad. Recently, he published the book El diseño industrial desde el estado: Argentina 1952-1983 (2021) Next month, we will discuss with Rybak topics related to the 2001 economic/productive crisis and about the ways design has contributed to the development of new entrepreneurial and production models in the post-crisis juncture.
Extension Induction: Antoniadis
We are proud to proclaim the induction of Carolina Antoniadis (Rosario, Santa Fe, 1961), visual artist, designer, and professor, to IDA Foundation. Trained at the Prilidiano Pueyrredón National School of Fine Arts alongside peers like Luis Felipe Noé and Enio Iommi, her production includes painting, engraving, and ceramics, among others. At the same time, she developed urban site-specific projects and mural paintings in public spaces. She received the life-achievement award M. Calderón de la Barca Foundation (2018), as well as the Great Painting Award and the First Prize in the Drawing category at the Salón Nacional (2016), among others. Her creations articulate art and design through such ornaments as language and such techniques as silk-screen printing, tableware enameling, and handmade site-specific displays of artistic, decorative, utilitarian, textile, and garment pieces, like wardrobe for dance shows and plays. The material donated to the collection includes wallpapers, accessories, garments, and original tableware designs, among other items.
-Blanco, R. (2011). Diseño industrial argentino. Florida: Ediciones Franz Viegener.
Image credits | Fundación IDA, Fondos Patrimoniales: 3-4. Buenos Aires Design | 5. SEPRA | 6-8. Publicidad | 9-10. Hugo Kogan | 11. Punta Diseño Industrial | 12-14. Alejandro Ros | 15-17. Churba Martín | 18. Peloche | 19. Rybak | 20-23. Carolina Antoniadis. Archivos invitados: 1. Página/12 | 2. Fundación Huésped / Consejo Publicitario Argentino.